Katie Couric on the way out at CBS?

Matthew Sheffield at Newsbusters writes about the possibility La Couric could be out of a job with CBS by the time the 2008 elections are over, and points to this piece from the Philly Inquirer which gives us some specifics on the speculation:

CBS executives deny it, but there’s a growing feeling within the network that Katie Couric is an expensive, unfixable mistake.

So unfixable that Couric – the first woman to anchor a network nightly newscast solo – may leave CBS Evening News, probably after the 2008 presidential elections, to assume another role at the network, CBS sources say.

Despite her A-list celebrity, her $15 million salary, and a promotional blitz worthy of a Super Bowl, the former star of NBC’s Today has failed to move the Nielsen needle on No. 3 Evening News since her debut seven months ago.

In a bottom-line business like television, that’s a cardinal sin. Already-low morale in the news division is dropping, says a veteran correspondent there.

“It’s a disaster. Everybody knows it’s not working. CBS may not cut her loose, but I guarantee you, somebody’s thinking about it. We’re all hunkered down, waiting for the other shoe to drop.”

Seven correspondents, producers and executives at CBS and other networks interviewed for this story spoke on condition of anonymity, given the sensitive nature of the Couric situation.

Couric and CBS were a bad fit from the start.

“From the moment she walked in here, she held herself above everybody else,” says a CBS staffer. “We had to live up to her standards. . . . CBS has never dealt in this realm of celebrity before.”

Is it just Couric who is the problem or CBSNews’ credibility in general? Rathergate didn’t exactly do wonders for CBS’ credibility, and as Ken Shepherd points out in Sheffield’s post, a CBS producer – Melissa McNamara – was fired recently after it was discovered that she plagiarized an article from the Wall Street Journal for a special “Notebook” vlog segment Couric did on the decline of the library in the Internet age.

Is it Couric or CBS’ crediblity issues – or both? I tend to lean towards the credibility issues myself.

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